Moths of North Dakota


Family Sesiidae: Clearwing moths

Diagnosis: facies wasp-like; antennae weakly clavate; CuA1/2 arising from end of discal cell.

Diversity: Worldwide two subfamilies, 123 genera and at least 1,123 species; North America has 20 genera and (also) 123 species; Nine species are known from the Dakotas.

Checklist numbers: 2512- 2626.

Biology: The synthesis of sex pheromones of these moths has revolutionized collecting in that previously, less common species were rarely collected, and then, never in series necessary for comparative study. Larvae are stem and root borers. Pupae can be found extruded from exit holes in the host plant. Adults frequent flowers where the mimetic resemblance to wasps (even to abdominal movement imitating stinging) is remarkable. Economically important species include: Ash borer, Peach tree borer, and Squash vine borer.


moth image

Further reading:

Edwards, Edward D. et al., Chapter 11. The Cossoid/ Sesioid assemblage, pp. 181- 197 in Kristensen, Neils P. ed. 1999. Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies. Part 35, Vol. 1 in Handbook of Zoology. Maximilian Fischer ed. Walter de Gryter, New York. 491 pp.

Eichlin, Thomas D. and W. Donald Duckworth. 1988. Fascicle 5.1 Sesioidea: Sesiidae in Dominick et al. The moths of America north of Mexico. E. W. Classey Ltd. London. 176 pp.

Engelhardt, George P. 1946. The North American Clear-wing moths of the Family Aegeriidae. Bull. U. S. Natl. Mus. 190: 1- 222.

Heppner, John B. and W. Donald Duckworth. 1981. Classification of the Superfamily Sesioidea (Lepidoptera: Ditrysia). Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 314: 144 pp.

MacKay, Margaret R., 1968. The North American Aegeriidae (Lepidoptera): a revision based on late-instar larvae. Mem. Can. Entomol. Soc. 58: 1- 112.

Scoble, Malcom J. 1992. The Lower Ditrysia, Chapter 11, pp. 225- 289 in The Lepidoptera: form, function, and diversity. Oxford Univ. press. 1982. 404 pp.



Last updated: 03/27/02

Gerald M. Fauske
Research Specialist
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105

Published by the Department of Entomology 

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